The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: PG Dip Indicative duration: 16 months
Start date: Tuition fee: £7,891 For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358 Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning

Do you want to enhance your current teaching? Are you passionate about developing your teaching strategies? Do you want to engage in technology to assist you in the delivery of the curriculum? Then our Postgraduate Diploma in Education might be the course for you.

There will be opportunities for you to reflect on your current teaching or training role and examine how educational theory relates to practice. You will also be able to explore an area of interest within teaching and learning through engagement with research and academic literature.

Throughout this course, you’ll explore a broad range of topics including:

  • an introductory overview of the historical and philosophical context in which educational practice sits
  • fundamental principles of assessment and key issues in contemporary educational assessment practice
  • An overview of educational research and the review of literature
  • how people learn and the consequent implications for best practice
  • the knowledge and skills needed to apply a learning analytics approach to the analysis of data

There is also an opportunity to study one of three optional modules should you be interested in developing content, or assessment, or have an interest in management.

Once you have completed our Postgraduate Diploma in Education you have the option to progress onto our Master of Education (M.Ed.) programme. (180 credits)

Why we’re great

  • You’ll be working at a postgraduate level with high emphasis on research and the evaluation of your own practice.
  • This course will engage you in the use of technology in your teaching and learning, even if you are using technology for the first time.
  • Receive your degree from the University of Essex, a top 40 UK university (Complete University Guide 2023)

Immerse yourself in the historical, philosophical and cultural context of modern education in this comprehensive module. You’ll explore and refine your understanding of the key concepts, values and beliefs within the field of educational practice – so that on completion, you’ll have a strong understanding of how these can be applied to real-world scenarios. 

Ready to develop your ability as a reflective professional practitioner? This exciting module will help you broaden your skill set to incorporate different innovative ideas to teaching. You’ll begin to identify learner needs and gain a solid understanding of how to plan with an adaptive approach to maximise learner outcomes and provide learner-centred support. 

Discover the fundamental principles of educational assessment on this in-depth module. You’ll explore the key issues in contemporary educational assessment practice – while evaluating assessment methods in a range of educational contexts. That way, you can use the information gained to enhance your own practice. 

How does technology enhanced learning (TEL) enable the integration of new technologies to help solve user issues? Find out in this valuable module. You’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of the TEL doctrine to understand how it works on a theoretical level and evaluate how this can be incorporated into your own teaching techniques. 

Identify the role of research and academic literature in an educational context, with this insightful module. You’ll produce a literature review in an area of your own interest, while observing appropriate academic conventions. That way, you can immerse yourself in the possibilities afforded from an extensive research project. 

Ready to develop your existing skills in analysing and interpreting various data? In this valuable module, you’ll work with different analytics tools and methods to capture data and identify trends in-line with learning and motivation theories across different educational contexts. 

Delve into existing cognitive scientific research of how people learn and critically evaluate different approaches to teaching. In this thought-provoking module, you’ll explore the role of pedagogy, instructional courses and learning outcomes in various contexts – backed up high-level educational research. 

This engrossing module will immerse you in the theories of learning design and the meaning of ‘content’. Through a range of activities, you’ll be encouraged to develop specific skills in the design and quality assurance of educational content – paying particular attention to collaborative learning and learner-centred materials. 

Discover the theoretical frameworks of management and the various practical skills managers require to lead. This informative module will encourage you to reflect on your own experience and consider a range of approaches and styles in order to identify areas for future development. 

Develop the skills required for summative and formative assessment development. You’ll consider a wide range of assessment modules as part of this valuable module – while critically evaluating the effectiveness and impact of a range of assessment tools. That way, you’ll have a strong understanding of how test construction works. 

Teaching methods

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you will have access to your study materials 24/7, including:

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students
  • live Q&A sessions with your tutors
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team

To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at 20 students.


Assessment methods

Rather than fretting about exams, you will be assessed exclusively through assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, or by submitting longer written pieces.

We are committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback through the following ways:

  • Our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent.
  • You will always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme.
  • You will be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log onto the learning platform.
  • There is a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work.
  • You will have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise.


Study duration

Our PG Dip Education has an indicative study duration of 16 months, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.

All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.

On successful completion of your course, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.

This Postgraduate Diploma programme is an ideal stepping stone for qualified teachers to expand and enhance their professional development in order to access senior leadership roles.

Due to a broad range of subjects covered on this course and opportunity to specialise in diverse professional contexts and practices, this advanced degree diploma will also support career development of students with some teaching or educational experience.

Students will have an opportunity to improve their professional practice and attain leadership roles in their chosen career paths as teachers, lecturers, training advisers and administrators, special education professionals, policy developers, researchers, local government and healthcare trainers as well as other related professions.

Please note that this degree will not provide you with a teaching qualification and that additional qualified teacher status is required to allow you to teach in the UK. 

We know that many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements.

Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue with your studies.


Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our PG Dip Education, you must have the following qualifications as a minimum:

  • an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree, or a relevant professional qualification


Work experience entry route

In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our PG Dip Education, you must meet the following criteria:

  • at least two years’ teaching experience in a post-compulsory educational setting


English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Full tuition fee: £7,891 (2022-23) Δ

  • Designated for postgraduate student loans in England.
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies.
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront.
  • Partial scholarship available for international students residing in specific regions outside of the UK.
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online.
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us. 

Please note that the up-front payment discount can be used in combination with the Alumni discount or international scholarship. The Alumni discount cannot be used in combination with the international scholarship.

Please note that a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here.

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits. We also charge the same fee for domestic and international students.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to experience a University of Essex Online course. We think you’ll love it! But if, within the first 21 days, you decide it’s not for you, you’ll receive a full refund.

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process.

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our PG Diploma Education are experts in the field of education.

What our students say


Adolfo Gonzalez - PG Cert Education (Educational Practice)

I chose the University of Essex Online because they offered a convenient pathway for Education studies (Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters). They also offered a monthly payment plan and their own online English proficiency test. I applied for the PG Cert Education (Educational Practice) through the work experience entry route, which requires at least two years of demonstrable practice at a compulsory education institution. After a couple of weeks and number of emails exchanged, my application was accepted, and I was enrolled on the programme. I felt remarkably happy, especially after discovering that many of my classmates were in the same situation as me: living and teaching abroad in Asia and Europe. Almost a year has passed, and my experience with University of Essex Online has been excellent. Student Advisers and tutors are very supportive, modules...

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Erin Lovell - Essex Online MBA

You are smart, capable, and strong. Repeat that to yourself as many times as you need to per day until you believe it.  

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Things I love: writing, long-distance charity walks, my Jack Russell terrier Jada, virtually all animals, tea, travelling to places I don’t speak the language, and learning. Things I dislike: cooking, butterflies, the sound of forks on teeth and being late.  

Why did you decide to open a sports centre?

My business partner and I had been discussing it for a few years before it all started to come together. We recognized that Bermuda was missing a central, family-friendly, location for practitioners of different martial arts & boxing styles to train. Our goal was to open a purpose-built facility that would be high-quality, affordable, and inclusive. So far, so good!  

Have you always...

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